Image is from Reader’s Digest

There are over 90 million people in the U.S. alone that suffer from allergies, and there are no shortage of myths about allergies either. It’s time to separate fact from fiction, and get to the bottom of common allergy myths.

Developing a Tolerance to Medication

Many allergy sufferers believe that their allergy medication stops working after a period of time because they have built up a tolerance to it. It’s true that allergy symptoms do have periods when they are worse than others. However, this isn’t caused by a tolerance to the medication. It is possible to develop new allergies or for new ones to become more severe. Exposure levels also change, which causes the severity of symptoms to change as well.

Most experts recommend taking the same allergy medicine on a consistent basis, because these medications are the most effective when they have had time to build up in your system.

Blame the Flowers

Most people with seasonal allergies believe that flowers are the culprit. Flowers are pollinated by insects, which is why their colors and smells are designed to entice them. Pollen from trees, grass, and ragweed is carried by the wind. This airborne pollen is what causes problems for allergy sufferers.

Local Honey Prevents Allergies

The logic is that honey contains local honey contains pollen from local plants, so it can desensitize you to allergens in your area. Unfortunately, even if this was effective it would desensitize you to flowering plants, which aren’t likely to be the cause of your allergies in the first place.

Very Clean Houses Prevent Allergies

There is a kernel of truth to this one. If you are allergic to dust, keeping your home free of dust can help lessen your allergies. However, the opposite seems to be true when it comes to children. Emerging science is showing that exposing children to potential allergens earlier in life can actually help prevent allergies. One study found that children exposed to mouse dander, cat dander, and roach droppings before their first birthday were 3 times less likely to have allergies at three years of age.

Adults Can’t Develop Allergies

Many adults believe that if they didn’t develop allergies as a child, that they won’t develop them in their adult years. However, we now know that some people are genetically predisposed to develop allergies. These individuals can develop allergies at any point in their life. It’s also possible for allergies to lessen or increase in severity over time. Some people develop allergies later in life, while some develop them in childhood and seem to outgrow them as adults.

Allergy Shots Are Only Effective For Children

Allergy shots expose your body to small amounts of the substance you are allergic to. It works similar to a vaccine. By exposing your body to the allergen, you can become desensitized to it over time. Allergy shots are effective at any stage of life, and they can help treat the underlying cause of your allergy rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Short Haired Animals Don’t Cause Allergies

Most people believe that it’s an animal’s hair that causes allergies, so a shorter haired animal would be less likely to cause allergies. However, allergies are caused by animal dander. This dander is found on the animal’s skin, their saliva, and urine. This means that the length of their hair has little to do with whether or not they will irritate your allergies.